Welcoming sails of Kinderdijk, Netherlands

In En-Route, Europe, Netherlands, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, Unesco, World Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

Outstretched across the polder

As part of our ‘Tulips & Cheese’ road trip, we planned a day out to Kinderdijk. We were based in Utrecht for a couple of days, and this Dutch icon was only 40 miles (63km) away. It was an opportunity too good to miss.

A view of the windmills at Kinderdijk, Holland, Netherlands

Useful to know

Parking on site is €5 – (2017)

UNESCO

The Mill Network at Kinderdijk-Elshout, was inscribed onto the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997. However, 19 windmills have stood on this open landscape since 1740; they successfully overcame the continued struggle to keep the encroaching water at bay.

Bridging the waterway, Kinderdijk, Holland, Netherlands

Legend has it…

After a devastating flood in 1421, survivors left their homes to assess the damage; they noticed a cradle bobbing up and down on the water, carrying the sound of a crying baby. The floating cradle was kept in balance by a cat, jumping up and down to keep the basket from sinking.

Windmills - 5 in a row, Kinderdijk, Holland, Netherlands

The baby was saved: maybe this was how the name Children’s Dyke (Kinderdijk) came about?

Lowlands

The area around Kinderdijk-Elshout is mostly below sea level, but the ingenious water management system of combining the windmills, pumping station, storage basins and ditches proved to keep the low-lying peat land dry.

A windmill - up close, Kinderdijk, Holland, Netherlands

Take a boat trip

You don’t actually need to pay to enter the site; you can take a stroll around free of charge. However, we also chose to join the scenic 30-minute cruise along the waterway of Overwaard, to see the wonderful imposing windmills up close.

All aboard the tour boat, Kinderdijk, Holland, Netherlands

The view from the boat gives a different perspective, and you’re able to gain a greater understanding of the network of waterways across the landscape.

The electric tour boat, Kinderdijk, Holland, Netherlands

Choices

A combination of tickets can be bought to include visiting the two windmill museums & the boat trip or purchased separately, as there is also the option of a hop on hop off boat ride.

Boezems

The windmills along each storage basin (boezem) of Overwaard and Nederwaard are quite different. The Overwaard windmills are octagonal and wooden, which are covered in reed thatch, these are lighter but posed a greater fire risk.

An octagonal, thatched, windmill, Kinderdijk, Holland, Netherlands

However, the windmills on the Nederwaard side are round and brick built with reed thatched caps and their sails are ‘ground-sailors’.

Floating in front of the windmills, Kinderdijk, Holland, Netherlands

Amongst the reeds

The footpath through Kinderdijk is very pleasant, from here you can visit the windmill museums or just take your time and wander along the dykes and amongst the flora & fauna, appreciating these wonderful structures.

Through the reeds - a Windmill, Kinderdijk, Holland, Netherlands

So you know

It’s free entry along the bicycle path and footpath

Would you like a little more?

We have created a little YouTube video of Kinderdijk – We hope you enjoy an insight into this wonderful piece of history.

Why not subscribe to the channel and get the latest clips as we post them?

Inspired?

To visit the windmills at Kinderdijk? We based ourselves at Utrecht – a great city. Why not have a look at 9 Standout memories of Utrecht for more info.

Here’s the latest deals on Booking.Com?

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One of the windmills at Kinderdijk, Holland, Netherlands

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Visited the Windmills of Kinderdijk? did you love the experience too?

About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight.Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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Welcoming sails of Kinderdijk, Netherlands was last modified: July 24th, 2017 by Janis